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Still wondering: Has anyone seen Maria, the daughter of Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni?

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All right, yes, I've seen this girl, in Geneva, Switzerland, in the company of the great Sofia, and they were window shopping at a Burberry store. They saw something they really liked and tried to get in but it was closed, and they were verrrrry annoyed. I raised my camera and tried to get a few shots but they saw me and covered their faces with their scarves. So sneaky! BTW, my name is Lawrence Parker, a freelance photographer based in Paris.

Great! I presume that Burberry store is on Geneva's Rue du Rhone, isn't it? And by the way, I guess you didn't give up so easily. Surely you are still lurking about, hoping to see them again, no?

Re: Sneaky!

What do you take me for, anyway? Of COURSE I never give up! And as a matter of fact this morning I lurked about the Parc des Bastions, here in Genève, where I knew Sofia frequently visits, and sure enough I caught a sight of her and Maria. The moment I aimed and fired off a shot, Maria growled and seized the camera, and tossed it toward a tree. Then the two of them hurried away. Thank god the Nikon bore only a scratch on its side, and was still functioning. Here's the non-shot of hot-head Maria.

Ha! I could have told you that Maria is a volatile, hot-tempered girl, just like her MOM.

Volatile Personality

Well, my friend, you may be interested in the conversation I happened to have overheard between a disguised woman and her companion two hours ago in the Cafe du Soleil, on place du Petit-Saconnex in Petit Saconnex. I, myself, was in disguise so they didn't recognize me, but they were so involved in their heated discussion that they never glanced in my direction. I thought of using my andriod phone's camera, but that would have attracted too much attention, and I was more interested in listening carefully to their angry back and forth. I even took notes. Here's a transcription:

"I've been wondering all these years why you gave me up," the younger one said, obviously quite distressed. "What sort of woman abandons her own flesh and blood?"

The woman paused, as if searching for words. "I had to think of my career, of course," she said. "Also, I didn't think Carlo could ever accept you as his, since obviously he wasn't your father."

"That's a lie," the girl said. "My aunt told me Carlo said you should keep me, but you replied that one day I would be competition."

The older woman was silent.

"You simply thought I was a nuisance, that's all."

"But wait!" the older woman said. "I dedicated my 100th movie to you. It's 'Between Strangers.'"

"Exactly! That's what we are, strangers."

"Please calm down. People will hear."

"I don't care if the whole world hears me. So I've had enough of you."

"Don't go," the older woman pleaded.

"Why shouldn't I go? Should I try to make YOU happy now after all the unhappiness you've caused me?"

"Please, my dear. Please."

The girl just got up and stormed out. The place was very crowded, and noisy, so nobody paid much attention. Your girlfriend has an extremely volatile personality! If I were you, I would never cross her!

Well, who doubts life is tres strange? A buddy of mine, a shooter at Magnum who loves high-powered telephotos (above), was tracking Sofia and your girlfriend, and caught the gal as she fled the restaurant.

I've never been a big fan of Paparazzi but this great stuff you've just sent me has warmed my heart. Please do keep me posted about further developments as they occur.

Another Encounter

Being an aggressive, famous and well paid tabloid photographer you won't be surprised to learn that I have a network of sources and informants, and nothing important happens in Geneva that I don't eventually find out about.

Christina Meriweather, one of my best spies, says she spotted Maria and Sophia sitting at a table at Café Restaurant du Parc des Bastions, not far from the huge outdoor chess boards and the famous towering glum statues of Farel, Calvin, Beza and Knox on the 100 meter long Reformation Wall.

Maria was weeping, and Sofia took her hand.

"I can't do this anymore," Maria said.

And Sofia replied, "I don't care anymore if the world knows."

"Oh? You've suddenly decided I'm no longer a nuisance? Well, sorry. I don't want anyone to know you finally want to be in my life."


"No. You may want to be my mother now, but I don't want to be your daughter. You may want to be in my life, but I don't want to be in yours."

Again Maria got up and rushed out, leaving the sad-faced old woman alone at the table.

Maria di costanzo

Hi my name is Francesco, i have saw your article what happen to maria (Rosetta)? Best Regards

You asked me, John, to keep you up-to-date regarding Maria. Well I got a tip from a colleague that she was leaving the country this morning, so I immediately hailed a cab for the 4 km drive northwest from the city center to Genève Aéroport. I waited for two hours, and sure enough I spotted her in front of the terminal on her way in. I quickly took a tight telephoto shot. She did not look at all happy.

I followed her inside, but lost her for a few moments in the crowds near Passport-Control.

Finally after scanning all the waiting areas I caught her sitting by the window, with a dark scarf covering her head.

But then, as I was changing lenses on my Nikon, I looked up and she was gone. Apparently she'd turned and spotted me and when she saw I was distracted, she left. I rushed to the ticket counter and asked if perchance they had a record of a departing flight for Rome for Maria DiCostanzo, but alas! No such record. Obviously she gave me the slip, and I have no idea where she is now.


If I learn anything more about her whereabouts, I'll be sure to let you know.

Well, no worries. When Maria decides to disappear, she knows exactly how to do it so that nobody can find her. In any event, I really appreciate all the effort you are putting into this. You are a true friend. Next time you're in Forio d'Ischia I'll treat you to an espresso at La Piazzetta!

At The Blue Moon


John, as it happens my editor at United Press International sent
me again to New York, and when I arrived the other day one of my
sources told me that I might find Sofia's daughter Maria in SoHo,
at one of the galleries named the Blue Moon. She was seen
entering and leaving the place several times. So of course I
just had to snoop around.

It was an exhibition of black and white photographs by a
photographer named Alexandria. The catalog's bio page said this
was a nom de plume, meant to keep the real photographer
anonymous. I wondered what Maria found so interesting in the

A few people had gathered at one of the images. It was of a nude
girl sitting at the base of a tree. I moved closer. I listened
to a man talking to his companion.

“Those rusted, abandoned steel mill buildings and smokestacks!"
he said. "It’s a fabulous representation of the precisionism of
Robert Sheeler.”

“Yes, absolutely. It's a marvelous self-portrait.”

“And look at those exposed roots of the sycamore!”

“Yes, a vivid metaphor of family, in which many of us are
permanently entangled."

I moved closer. I caught my breath. The girl sitting at the
base of the tree was Maria herself! Obviously she'd set her
camera on a tripod and had set the self timer to make this photo
of herself. Then I saw another self portrait. Yes, that was
unmistakably her.

I used the camera in my Moto-X to copy a few more of Maria's
images. I managed to get four or five, but an angry woman came
up to me and told me that photography was not permitted, and that
I would have to leave. I said, okay, fine.

Happy Mother's Day, Sofia Loren!

Well, Signora, Maria sends these self portraits because she wants you to see the daughter you've turned your back on. If you had kept her, she surely would have turned your life upside-down. But I guess you just can't stand competition from anyone, not even your own flesh and blood.

Edited at 2014-05-11 11:23 am (UTC)



Hey James! I hear from unnamed sources that Maria is going to meet with Sofia pretty soon. Any confirmation, so I can alert the media? I understand that I anticipate there might be some fire between those two!

Photo Interpretation


Well now, Maria, your images are excellent. And haunting. Here's how I interpret them. Very often you feel like you've been sentenced to a long term of solitary confinement. In your dark cell you have visions of a ghostly woman, one you feel you know from long ago. But then you feel she's a stranger who resembles no one around you. You long for liberation and freedom, and it may or may not include that ghost. What to do?

Destruction & Creation

Hi Maria, I happened to come across these photographic images of yours and naturally I'm inclined to offer my interpretation. The overall theme, I imagine, is DESTRUCTION. The typewriter and script are symbolic of your method as an artist to document all significant events in your emotional history, which is a way of shaping the experiences that have shaped you.

The destruction is the "you" that existed before you learned you were given up for adoption by Sofia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. The destruction continues with La Prima Donna and her sons, Carlo Ponti and Eduardo Ponti, refusing to allow you to be an active part of their lives.

But the final "creation" occurs in the last image, where all the destruction becomes a mere abstraction, far removed from reality. It is your triumph in being able to transform trauma into merely one of the many blobs of paint on your artistic palatte.



Maria's power as a metaphorical artist radiates from this collection of abstract but wholly revealing images. They constitute a visual narrative of abandonment and exile, eventually followed by a transcendent recovery that leads to spirituality and love. It also provides a simple answer to the complex question of precisely why Sofia Loren and her sons, Eduardo and Carlo Ponti, Jr., steadfastly refuse to acknowledge Maria. Nothing more complicated than fear, and jealousy. As Sofia said in Napoli in 1964 when she abandoned Maria, "One day she will be competition."


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